Present:

As identified on the Attendance List

OARA RESIDENTS

Alma Road

  • Peter Wirgman
  • Dave Rounce
  • Heather Soper

Avenue Road

  • Carol Massey

Clifford Dibben Mews

  • Miles Edwards

Highfield Avenue

  • Margaret Chiari

Gordon Avenue

  • Dorothy Haslehurst
  • Sh’uaib Afzal

Earls Road

  • Richard Long
  • Susan Silva
  • Greg Hewitt

Cambridge Road

  • Mary Hockey
  • Sandra Comaish
  • Carolyn Page

OARA Committee

  • Gordon Gillies (Chair)
  • T Jacobs (Membership Secretary)
  • Andy Haslehurst (Treasurer)
  • Lynn Murphy (Secretary)
  • Rosy Maguire (Committee Member)
  • Phine Dahle (Committee Member)
  • Barbro Fitzjohn (Committee Member)
  • Barbara Matcham (Committee Member)
  • Chris Jackson (Committee Member)
  • Sue Swallow (Planning Officer)

Other attendees

  • Jerry Gillen, Highfield RA
  • Cllr Stephen Barnes-Andrews
  • Jack Hayward, PCSO

Apologies:

  • Liz Haslam
  • Cllr Derek Burke
  • Maggie O’Connor
  • Carol Massey
  • Steve Dorney
  • Patricia Cosio-Begotes
  • Petrina Boddington

1. Welcome

Gordon opened the meeting by welcoming all of the attendees.  The apologies were given.

2. Planning Issues

2.1 New regulations

Gordon Gillies commented that the new planning regulations had been in force since 23rd March 12, and invited Jerry Gillen and Peter Wirgman to comment.

PW reported that there is a regular meeting with Chris Lyons (SCC’s Planning & Development Manager) More central government consultation documents are being issued so there is no real clarity about the effectiveness of the regulations. Two recent proposals have been rejected (28 & 30 Alma Road and 72 flats in Bassett).

There are concerns that new developments do not take into consideration the existing sewerage infrastructure, which is the responsibility of Southern Water. It was noted that Southern Water do not always know what is in the ground nor its capacity in older areas such as our own.

Jerry Gillen commented that the council only has two Enforcement Officers so we must remain vigilant and report anything to our Planning Officer, Sue Swallow, so that she can report it on our behalf to the council.

Jerry also reported that the council is working towards HMO registration; this will cost £300 for the first year and £100 thereafter. This is viewed as a positive move as it protects the rights of the tenants.

2.2 The council’s view

Gordon invited Cllr Barnes-Andrews to give his view on how the regulations were working. He responded that a current infringement of the requirement to apply for planning permission for a new HMO is in the hands of the Enforcement Officers; the landlord has been contacted and has been asked to apply through the proper channels. The council is in the process of recruiting a third Enforcement Officer.

Cllr Barnes-Andrews reported that the University of Southampton want an extra 1,000 non HMO residences.  It is hoped that this need will be addressed by:

  • The old British Gas building being converted into 300 bedsits
  • The old St Mary’s Sports Centre being developed into 650 student accommodation units

 2.3 Current proposals

Sandra Comaish reported that a landlord has now put in a second planning application to convert an old washroom facility into a bungalow, which will have considerable impact on her own amenity space.  Cllr Barnes-Andrews agreed to follow this up on Sandra’s behalf.

Action: Sandra to contact Cllr Barnes-Andrews with the details; Cllr Barnes-Andrews to follow up.

It is also unclear what is happening with Prospect House, a commercial building conversion on the junction of Avenue Road and Cedar Road.  Cllr Barnes-Andrews agreed to pursue this on our behalf.

Action: Cllr Barnes-Andrews

3. Street Cleaning

Barbara Matcham stated that she has produced a street cleaning schedule and will send it to Gordon for further distribution.
Action: Gordon to forward on the schedule when received.

Gordon asked Cllr Barnes-Andrews whether the council could provide any support for our street cleaning activities. He responded that he would enquire whether it would be possible to provide a skip twice a year. He also said that he would arrange collection of rubbish collected if we could let him know in advance where we were planning to clean. Gordon agreed to send him the Street Cleaning Schedule when it is available.
Action: Cllr Barnes-Andrews and Gordon Gillies

4. Membership Cards

T Jacobs reported that Membership Cards have now been sold. The ability to apply for one on the website will be available shortly.

Rosy Maguire and Phine Dahle will invite more businesses to be added to the discount scheme.
Action: Rosy Maguire and Phine Dahle

5. Financial Position

Andy Haslehurst gave a brief financial update of OARA’s funds.  The three table top sales have raised £260, the quiz about £40 and membership cards £97.  Our application to the Community Chest for funds is being considered.  We have about £750 in the account.

Although this sounds healthy, the funds will be needed for:

  • The next newsletter
  • The student information pack
  • Greening group activities

6 Greening Group

6.1 Signature trees

Sue Swallow outlined the plan to plant 60 signature cherry trees and all of their current fund raising activities are focussing on this. Waitrose have been asked if they would allow us to have a token bin.

There is a National Tree Planting Day in November and the aim is to have sufficient funds to buy the 60 trees by then. Rosy Maguire reported that a local landlord is happy to sponsor two trees on his properties. The “Tree List” identifying those who wish to have a tree will be started at the end of July at the next meeting.

Gordon expressed his desire to see this initiative succeed and asked for volunteers to approach residents.  The following people volunteered:

  • Rosy Maguire
  • Margaret Chiari
  • Heather Soper
  • Barbara Matcham
  • Chris Jackson

At this early stage, it is important to capture residents’ names; we can decide how it will work at a later stage.

Action: Rosy, Margaret, heather, Barbara and Chris

Jerry Gillen commented that he is aware of a University of Southampton grant that could support the planting, and will send the details to Gordon, who in turn will forward them on to Andy Haslehurst.

Action: Jerry Gillen, Gordon Gillies and Andy Haslehurst

6.2 Garden Quiz

There were two correct entries for the garden quiz. Gordon invited PCSO Jack Hayward to pick the winner. Sue Shennan receives a garden voucher.

7 Update from the PCSO

7.1 Crime

Jack reported that crime in the Bevois area has dropped significantly in the last ninety days compared with last year; from 10th April to 9th July there were 322 reported crimes compared with 413 this time last year. He reiterated the importance of reporting any crime, however small, as it helps the force map out the resources that they need to prevent it.

7.2 Campaigns

A campaign is starting in mid-July to discourage antisocial behaviour in the summer months.

7.3 PACT meeting

The next Police and Community Together (PACT) meeting will take place at 19:00 on Monday 23rd July at St Barnabas Church Hall, Lodge Road.

8 The OARA Newsletter

Gordon raised the issue of the annual newsletter. Last time, it cost £175. It is important for maintaining contact with the residents and gaining new members, and shows that we’re active as an RA. It was agreed that we would produce another newsletter preferably by October when the students return. Articles could include the crime figures, tree planting, the Big Lunch, planning issues, local activities, membership card scheme and other topical subjects.

Rosy commented that the local businesses offering discounts would like to advertise in the newsletter; three adverts at £30 each would cover half the expected cost. Gordon agreed to contact Kate Leven to see if she would be willing to act as editor.
Action: Gordon

After the meeting, one of the attendees offered to fund part of the newsletter costs in return for advertising their local business.
Action: T to raise at the next Committee meeting

9 Conclusion

Gordon concluded the meeting by thanking everyone for their attendance and contributions.

9.1 Dates of next meetings

OARA General Meetings

Monday 17th September 12
Tuesday 27th November 12
Tuesday 22nd January 13 AGM

OARA Committee Meetings

Monday 3rd September 12
Tuesday 6th November 12
Thursday 13th December 12

Action: all to note